Bal Harbour Police Testing Out High Tech Lapel Cameras

BAL HARBOUR (CBS4) –  Bal Harbour Police are testing new technology that will capture a police officers every move.

It’s a device much like the dash cam but it is worn on the uniform. The hard drive hooks on to an officers’ belt and the small camera sits on the officer’s shoulder.

It’s the kind of technology that Capitan Leo Quinn says will protect officers and suspects.

“A suspect can turn around and say officers beat him when they took him in but that would be a false allegation.” Quinn says.

Officer Ramone Fernandez has been testing the device for more than two weeks he says it’s as easy as turning on the equipment. He finds it helpful in writing accurate reports, training other officers and says it can be a life saving tool.

“Going into an area were we can’t assure ourselves there’s danger or an armed suspect around the corner. The camera does allow for us to look around the corner and view the monitor as we do that. That’s one of the tools,” said Officer Fernandez.

The ACLU supports this new technology. Executive Director Howard Simon says the greatest number of complains they receive are of police brutality and this device would protect suspects and exonerate officers.

But, Simon points out, this technology still puts the officer in control.

“There’s still a factor here that involves the integrity of the officer. The officer has to turn it on. It ought to be on all the time.”

Captain Quinn says it’s all about transparency and he believes the $4,000 dollar  device will help them do their job better.

They have 30 days to test it. They have not yet decided if they will buy it.


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